Senate passes Holt legislation to avoid
future budget shortfalls
The Senate has passed Senate Joint Resolution
44, authored by Sen. David
Holt, by a vote of 46-1. The legislation, approved
Monday, would give the people of Oklahoma the opportunity
to measure the current 15 percent cap on the state’s
Rainy Day Fund against the total state budget of approximately
Currently, the Rainy Day Fund’s 15 percent cap
is measured against the artificially smaller number
of “general revenue fund certification”
that was just $5.6 billion for the most recent budget,
less than a quarter of the dollar amount actually
spent by the state. The recent drop in energy prices
has created a budget shortfall of $1.3 billion that
far exceeds the maximum amount of approximately $850
million that the Rainy Day Fund could have held under
the current cap.
“We’ve lived in an energy-based economy
long enough to know these price drops are going to
happen and we need to have a savings account that
is adequate to the task,” said Holt, R-Oklahoma
City. “Out of this current budget crisis, I
can think of no greater gift we can give future generations
than to put a savings plan in place that will give
us the security we need to avoid future shortfalls
like this. The lessons we’re learning in this
crisis need to be applied today, while they are fresh.
Putting an appropriate cap in place is the first step.
The current cap is measured against a dollar amount
that has no particular relevance, it provides a false
sense of security, and it has utterly failed us.”
SJR 44 now proceeds to the House for consideration.
Because the cap on the Rainy Day Fund is part of the
Constitution, amending it requires a vote of the people.
If SJR 44 passes the House, it would be placed on
the November, 2016 ballot for consideration by the
For more information, contact:
Sen. Holt: (405) 521-5636